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The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Science


Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Steven Meyer, Isabelle Stengers, Mary Baine Campbell, Devin Griffiths, Joan Richardson, Kitt Price, Hugh Crawford, Haun Saussy, Tim Lenoir, James J. Bono, Adam Frank, Wai Chee Dimock, Alan Richardson, Tim Armstrong, Reviel Netz
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  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107439030

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About the Authors
  • In 1959, C. P. Snow lamented the presence of what he called the 'two cultures': the apparently unbridgeable chasm of understanding and knowledge between modern literature and modern science. In recent decades, scholars have worked diligently and often with great ingenuity to interrogate claims like Snow's that represent twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and science as radically alienated from each other. The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Science offers a roadmap to developments that have contributed to the demonstration and emergence of reciprocal connections between the two domains of inquiry. Weaving together theory and empiricism, individual chapters explore major figures - Shakespeare, Bacon, Emerson, Darwin, Henry James, William James, Whitehead, Einstein, Empson, and McClintock; major genres and modes of writing - fiction, science fiction, non-fiction prose, poetry, and dramatic works; and major theories and movements - pragmatism, critical theory, science studies, cognitive science, ecocriticism, cultural studies, affect theory, digital humanities, and expanded empiricisms. This book will be a key resource for scholars, graduate students, and undergraduate students alike.

    • Offers a new understanding of literature and science that demonstrates how an entire field of study has changed in recent decades as well as what the basis of that change is
    • Describes the extensive overlap of literature and science with science studies, showing that the former is by no means just a subfield of the latter
    • Promotes the integration of elements in the contemporary world that are often taken to be opposed, allowing readers to understand the limitations and imprecision of frequent claims for a literature/science ('two cultures') dichotomy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Science is a serious, substantial, and illuminating volume. The contributors are among the most highly regarded and influential scholars in their respective areas of expertise in literature and science. Together, their contributions provide a comprehensive, consistently informative, and frequently enlightening survey of what is an extremely varied and theoretically challenging interdisciplinary field. The volume will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars working in any area of literature and sciences studies.' Paul Peppis, University of Oregon

    '… original, transformative, and enormously valuable as a fresh perspective on the field.' Martin Willis, The British Society for Literature and Science Reviews (

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107439030
    • length: 350 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Steven Meyer
    Part I. Glimpses of Present and Future: Literature and Science Studies:
    1. Science fiction to science studies Isabelle Stengers
    Part II. Snapshots of The Past: Literature and Science:
    2. Shakespeare and modern science Mary Baine Campbell
    3. Darwin and literature Devin Griffiths
    4. William James, Henry James, and the impact of science Joan Richardson
    5. Empson's Einstein: science and modern reading Kitt Price
    Part III. In Theory: Literary Studies and Science Studies:
    6. Science studies and literary theory Hugh Crawford
    7. From writing science to digital humanities Haun Saussy and Tim Lenoir
    8. Science studies as cultural studies James J. Bono
    9. Reading affect: literature and science after Klein and Tomkins Adam Frank
    Part IV. In Practice: Literary Studies and Science:
    10. The global turn: Thoreau and the sixth extinction Wai Chee Dimock
    11. Literary studies and cognitive science Alan Richardson
    12. Modernism, technology, and the life sciences Tim Armstrong
    13. The long history of cognitive practices: literacy, numeracy, aesthetics Reviel Netz
    Futures past and present: literature and science in an age of Whitehead Steven Meyer.

  • Editor

    Steven Meyer, Washington University, St Louis
    Steven Meyer is Associate Professor of English at Washington University, St Louis. He is the author of Irresistible Dictation: Gertrude Stein and the Correlations of Writing and Science (2003). He has co-edited a special issue of Configurations on the surge of interest in Whitehead's 'process philosophy' among practitioners of science studies and Literature and Science. He recently served on the Executive Committee of the Modern Language Association Division on Literature and Science (2011–16; chair, 2014–15). He has also been awarded fellowships by Yale's Whitney Humanities Center, the Stanford Humanities Center, and Rutger's Center for Cultural Analysis.


    Steven Meyer, Isabelle Stengers, Mary Baine Campbell, Devin Griffiths, Joan Richardson, Kitt Price, Hugh Crawford, Haun Saussy, Tim Lenoir, James J. Bono, Adam Frank, Wai Chee Dimock, Alan Richardson, Tim Armstrong, Reviel Netz

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